FULLERTON — First day, no complaints.
That's how the Cal State Northridge softball team and Coach Janet Sherman were feeling after clubbing Southwest Missouri State, 5-0, Friday night in a first-round game of an NCAA Division I regional in front of 627 at Cal State Fullerton.
Northridge pounded nine hits, including five for extra bases, while pitchers Jen Richardson and Tara Glaister combined on a one-hitter to dismantle a team that batted .311 for the regular season.
Northridge will face Fullerton--a 5-1 winner over UCLA--today at 1 p.m. Southwest Missouri State (34-21) plays UCLA at 3:30 in the double-elimination tournament.
The Matadors (43-14), the top-seeded team in the regional, scored four runs in the first inning on three hits, including doubles by Chelo Lopez and Richardson and a two-run home run by Shelby Wilcox.
After Northridge added another run in third on a solo home run by Maumausolo--her 17th--Sherman was compelled to stick with a game plan that included getting both of her pitchers into the mix.
"We wanted them both to get some time if our offense allowed us to do that," Sherman said. "And our offense did allow us to do that."
Richardson, a junk-ball pitcher, surrendered only a two-out single to Heather Anderson in the third and was fully in command. But Sherman brought in hard-throwing Glaister (22-7) to start the fourth. Glaister, a freshman right-hander, struck out eight and did not allow a hit in the final four innings to get the victory.
Northridge looked sharp offensively as well. Jill Stribling led off the onslaught, beating out a chopper to the shortstop. Three batters later, with runners at first and second, Lopez went with an outside pitch and ripped a line drive down the right-field line and to the fence on one hop. Stribling scored easily, but Maumausolo, who had walked, was gunned down at the plate on a cutoff throw by shortstop Erica Shepherd.
But the putout had little effect on the Matadors' momentum.